06-09-2007, 10:02 AM
FULL LINK (http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm)

A league source told us on Thursday night that he recently received an invitation to a celebrity poker tournament at the Playboy mansion. The event is hosted by Baron Davis, Paul Pierce, Shannon Sharpe, and Reggie Bush.

The problem? Bush's association with the event is an apparent violation of league rules regarding gambling.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told us by e-mail on Friday that NFL rules prohibit the hosting of a celebrity poker tournament, even if (as in this case) it's all for charity.

Under Article XI of the CBA, such activities would potentially be subject to discipline from the Commissioner as conduct detrimental to public confidence in the game of professional football. Alternatively, Bush could be disciplined pursuant to paragraph 15 of the Standard Player Contract, which states:

"Player recognizes the detriment to the League and professional football that would result from impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of NFL games or the integrity and good character of NFL players. Player therefore acknowledges his awareness that if he accepts a bribe or agrees to throw or fix an NFL game; fails to promptly report a bribe offer or an attempt to throw or fix an NFL game; bets on an NFL game; knowingly associates with gamblers or gambling activity; uses or provides other players with stimulants or other drugs for the purpose of attempting to enhance on-field performance; or is guilty of any other form of conduct reasonably judged by the League Commissioner to be detrimental to the League or professional football, the Commissioner will have the right, but only after giving Player the opportunity for a hearing at which he may be represented by counsel of his choice, to fine Player in a reasonable amount; to suspend Player for a period certain or indefinitely; and/or to terminate this contract."

We assume that Bush can avoid any scrutiny by simply removing his name from the event. And we don't really fault him for this one, since it's not his job to understand the nuances of NFL rules and regulations. That job falls to his agent and/or marketing rep.

In this specific case, someone apparently screwed up.